noun, often attributive
\ˈstär \

Definition of star 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night

b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions

2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural

(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising

b obsolete : destiny

3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk

b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order

c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value

4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars

5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles

b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer

c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star

d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sprinkle or adorn with stars

2a : to mark with a star as being preeminent

b : to mark with an asterisk

3 : to feature in the most prominent or important role the movie stars a famous stage personality

intransitive verb

1 : to play the most prominent or important role

2 : to perform outstandingly



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing

2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ˈstär-ləs \ adjective
starlike \ˈstär-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of star in a Sentence


They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars.


The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook.


looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Ultimate Frontier Let Susan Barnett, Buehler Planetarium and Observatory director, and other experts guide you in locating the moon, stars, and nebulae (weather permitting). Mary Lou Cruz,, "Davie area events July 18-28," 14 July 2018 Actress Peyton List of Jessie, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, and 27 Dresses stars in the video, and turns out to be a mermaid. Sofia Mele, Billboard, "Cheat Codes and Little Mix Tell a Mermaid Love Story in Vibrant 'Only You' Video: Watch," 13 July 2018 Both Neymar, the Brazilian star, and Mbappé joined French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer for ungodly sums of money. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 David Wojnarowicz, the subject of an exhibition opening this week at the Whitney, was another art star who came into Benson’s orbit. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Dianne Benson, A Maverick Retailer in 1980s New York, Talks Fashion, Art, and Collaborators Like David Wojnarowicz and Cindy Sherman," 13 July 2018 For more info: PASSAGE: Tab Hunter The Hollywood star and gay icon died on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at age 86. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (July 15)," 12 July 2018 The 27-year-old Scruggs, a former St. Xavier High School star and NFL player, recently joined the University of Cincinnati football staff as Director of Player Development. Tom Groeschen,, "Cincinnati Bearcats: Former St. Xavier, NFL player Greg Scruggs joins UC football staff," 10 July 2018 Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and supermodel Kendall Jenner have been dating since May. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "A look inside Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner's $25K per month LA rental," 10 July 2018 Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Silvia Earl, who’s still around and amazing, and some of the really big stars and some of the most remarkable achievements were because National Geographic invested in women. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Nat Geo executives Courteney Monroe, Rachel Webber and Susan Goldberg on Recode Decode," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, its time away might have contributed to a shutout in the lead acting categories, in which stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke had competed. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "What the 2018 Emmy nominations got right and wrong," 12 July 2018 Rob Reiner directs and stars in a film inspired the story of Knight Ridder journalists who questioned the Iraq War. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Liberal outrage in Rob Reiner's 'Shock and Awe'," 12 July 2018 The reality star and her sister also serve as two of Kanye West’s muses having starred in multiple Yeezy campaigns including being Kim Kardashian clones. Alexia Fernandez,, "Bad Girls Club Star & Kanye's Muse Shannade Clermont Arrested for Stealing Dead Man's Identity," 11 July 2018 The pending divorce gives Baldwin the opportunity to reprise his guest-starring role as her lover, Malcolm Widmark. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: Megan Mullally Disappointed in 'Will and Grace' Comedy Series Snub," 12 July 2018 Whishaw voiced the titular adorable bear in Paddington and Paddington 2, the latter of which also starred Grant as a villainous actor named Phoenix Buchanan. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Hugh Grant Gets Comfortable with Controversy in A Very English Scandal," 29 June 2018 Matinee shows are on Sunday, July 1 and Saturday, July 7 at 2 p.m. Directed by Tom Sankey, the show stars Camden Lippert and Brooke Webster sharing the title role of Annie. Lisa Gueli Regnante, Howard County Times, "Old-time folk music stars kick off Glen Mar concerts [Ellicott City]," 21 June 2018 The company has repeatedly laid off employees in an effort to cut costs and is staring down debts that could force it to liquidate as early as this summer, the Wall Street Journal has reported. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes indicted for alleged fraud, out as CEO," 15 June 2018 The movie also stars Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler with Claire Foy as Armstrong’s wife Janet. David Caraccio, sacbee, "Here's the trailer for "First Man" about Neil Armstrong mission to the moon starring Ryan Gosling," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Luc Belaire champagne has compiled an all-star lineup of hip-hop compatriots as global ambassadors, which include A Boogie, G Herbo, Dave East and Rick Ross, who joined the brand back in 2013. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Dave East Teams Up With Rick Ross for 'Fresh Prince of Belaire': Listen," 6 July 2018 Guests will be treated to an all-star celebrity lineup featuring Mike Colter (Jessica Jones), William Shatner (Star Trek), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), and so many more. Mike Stocker,, "Video: Florida Supercon fans show off their stunning costumes," 14 July 2018 The season kicked off with their star role in uncle Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. Erin Hill,, "Did Princess Charlotte Tell Off Photographers at Prince Louis' Christening?," 12 July 2018 The model walked barefoot with a black bikini top and floral wrap skirt while her pop star beau wore a white tank, black Adidas shorts, and white slippers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Baldwin, Justin Bieber, and His New Mustache Had a Beach Date Ahead of July Fourth," 5 July 2018 Svechnikov is expected to go second overall to the Carolina Hurricanes and has star potential. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "The NHL Draft is in town. Here are 5 names to know and when the Stars pick," 21 June 2018 Also, Heimlich and UW shortstop Levi Jordan were star teammates on Puyallup High's unbeaten Washington 4A state champions in 2014. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Oregon State baseball brings recent College World Series experience into opener against North Carolina," 12 June 2018 Gerard Piqué, the team’s star center-forward, tells me. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Inside FC Barcelona's Global Football Empire," 21 Mar. 2018 He was picked to play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Washington but was replaced, because he is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Tigers on the final day before the all-star break. Stephen Ruiz,, "Justin Verlander, Kate Upton expect first child," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky

: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives

: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.

: to have (someone) as the most important performer

: to perform extremely well


\ˈstär \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light

2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky

3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star

4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.

5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good

2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.

3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.

4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete

2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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Comments on star

What made you want to look up star? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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